Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Coastal BC Plants: Himalayan Blackberry

Himalayan Blackberry

The Himalayan Blackberry is prolific along the south coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. It's an invasive species that grows in thickets and crowds out other local plants. As the name indicates, it is native to Asia that was introduced in the Pacific Northwest for fruit production, but they have spread and gotten out of control.

In our area, the white blossoms start to form into small hard berries in July. By August, they are ripening to large, juicy, sweet berries begging to be picked. This year is going to be particularly early with all the not weather we've had.

I know that they are an invasive species that can clog riverbank, or engulf huge areas, but when you can pick such luscious fruit for free and make it into so many wonderful things, it's hard to hate it. Just look at this bowl full or wonderful fruit.

Wild blackberries are used to make lots desserts and preservatives. I usually pick a nice big crop at the Shinglemill Marina before coming up the lake. At home in the cabin I make them into pies, cobblers, pancakes, jam, and canned whole to enjoy all winter long.

Each year in August, my hometown of Powell River celebrates all the wild blackberries that grow in every nook and cranny with a Blackberry Festival and Street Party. It's such fun. They block off about a kilometre of Marine Avenue and local vendors and restaurants set up booths and street performers entertain.

Do you have Himalayan Blackberries where you live? How do you like to use them? -- Margy

8 comments:

  1. Very interesting and informative post. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  2. Wonderful to find an invasive species that has benefits, too.
    I love berries!

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  3. My Mom tells me as a girl there was wild berries all over the farm she lived on and my Grandma made lots of pies and jellies.
    Ann

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    1. That's what we do when they are in season. I like to can some for winter, but I have enough jam left from last year to get us through. - Margy

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  4. Great post. I've been concerned about invasive species, but sometimes we just have to embrace them, or eat them!

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    1. Some can be really bad, and I guess if you have blackberry vines taking over your yard it isn't as much fun, but finding them in unused lots and beside the road sure is a nice summer treat. - Margy

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  5. The berries look delicious, I have just been conjuring up a delicious blackberry, brandy and sage sauce to accompany a crisply roasted duck,,,I've gt the duck, brandy and sage but no blackberries...
    help..
    .I have some large juicy British cherries, so will use them instead!
    Sometimes, one just have to compromise!
    Great post Margy xx

    Best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

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    1. Sounds like a really tasty sauce. Probably blueberries or raspberries would go well in it too. - Margy

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